March 29, 2018: NAHB Reminder To Take Action
Tell your member of Congress to urge President Trump to re-start softwood lumber trade negotiations with Canada
Since January of 2017, rising lumber prices have increased the price of an average single-family home by $6,388. Much of these unprecedented price hikes are due to tariffs averaging more than 20% on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the U.S. The tariffs are acting as a tax on American home builders and home buyers, making housing less affordable for American families (see details). Contact your member of Congress and ask them to encourage the President to re-start softwood lumber trade negotiations with Canada. TAKE ACTION
NAHB Remodelers Breaking News
Last week, industry trade associations including NAHB reached an agreement with EPA and the Sierra Club on how the formaldehyde rule will be implemented. A suit filed by the Sierra Club against EPA challenging a rule implementation extension would have disrupted the supply chain for cabinets, flooring and other composite wood products-causing increased prices and reduced product availability for remodelers. NAHB joined with other trade associations to file a brief in the case urging the court to uphold the extension, which included a statement from former NAHB Remodelers Chair Robert Criner on how the anticipated production disruptions would hurt his business and employees. Learn More
Backflow Testing Requirement for New Construction
Starting in January 2018, testers have 10 days to test and submit results on backflow assemblies for newly constructed buildings or services after the meter has been set. If results are not received within this time frame, we can suspend water service until a passed test result is demonstrated through an appointment with us. If a fire suppression system backflow has not been tested during this time frame, domestic water service can be suspended until the fire suppression backflow assembly is tested.
Unlawful Temporary Water Connections
Colorado Springs’ Backflow Prevention Team has become aware of building contractors connecting to the finished water system with no permitted meter and no approved backflow prevention assembly. These unlawful temporary water connections could potentially create a contamination hazard through an unprotected cross-connection. In January 2016, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the modified “Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Rule” (“Rule 11.39”). Primary requirements under Rule 11.39 state that “The supplier is prohibited from installing or permitting any uncontrolled cross-connection to the distribution system or within the supplier’s waterworks.”
These unpermitted connections are considered uncontrolled cross-connections that could potentially containment the finished water distribution system and therefore are a violation of Colorado Springs City Code §§12.4.1213.E. Pursuant to this code provision, Colorado Springs Utilities may issue an emergency suspension order and can assess up to $1000.00 per event per day when these violations occur.
Apply for a temporary water service permit.
EPA Announces Two-Year Delay For WOTUS Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a two-year delay of the Obama-era “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, giving the agency more time to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and replace it with definitions that provide needed clarity for those regulated by the Clean Water Act. “This is a decision we have been waiting a long time for,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “NAHB has provided formal testimony and explained to agency officials the consequences of this rule’s extreme overreach and the resulting confusion not only among property owners, but the regulators themselves.” Learn More
OSHA Adjusts Penalty Amounts for 2018
On Jan. 2, civil penalty amounts for violations of workplace safety and health standards increased by two percent from last year. In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, the Department of Labor is required to adjust penalties for inflation each year. New penalties for willful and repeat violations are $129,336 per violation; serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements are $12,934 per violation; and failure to correct violations is $12,934 for each day the condition continues.
CSPR Study on Building Gated Cities: Lakewood, CO
The economic and fiscal impacts of restricting housing growth
In a period of rapid-growth and prosperity, a central question facing Coloradans is, "How do we manage anticipated growth?" The availability and affordability of homes is critical for individuals to raise a family, start a career and generate wealth. Businesses also need to be able to continue to attract and retain talented workers that can afford to live and thrive in the communities they work. The Common Sense Policy Roundtable Building Gated Cities report takes an in-depth look at a proposed 1% housing growth limitation in the City of Lakewood and the potential social and economic impacts of the measure. The report builds on the city's findings to suggest that the proposed legislation to limit housing growth - intended to cut down on congestion and improve quality of life - is likely to achieve the opposite.
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